Shrivastava had previously founded home rental startup Grabhouse in 2012, which was backed by Sequoia Capital, Kalaari Capital and India Quotient.
Prominent venture capitalists and top executives at private equity firms on Sunday mourned the passing away of Pankhuri Shrivastava, the founder of Sequoia Capital-backed women-focused social community platform ‘Pankhuri’ on December 24.
Shrivastava had previously founded home rental startup Grabhouse in 2012, which was backed by Sequoia Capital, Kalaari Capital and India Quotient. Grabhouse was sold to online classifieds platform Quikr in 2016.
“Yesterday, it came as a shock to me when I found out that @pankhuri16 is no more. I remember her as a vivacious bright woman full of ideas and full of life. She was confident. That was something you noticed about her immediately,” Vani Kola, founder of Kalaari Capital, tweeted on Sunday.
“Her demise is a loss for our startup ecosystem. We lost a bright and young founder, but I know her legacy will live on. It was truly a privilege to know Pankhuri,” Kola posted in the tribute on US-based microblogging platform Twitter.
Many who had worked with Shrivastava remembered her as a courageous entrepreneur.
“It is a shocking piece of news. Pankhuri was full of energy. How many founders have the courage to name their company after them,” said Anand Lunia, founder of early-stage VC fund India Quotient, and an investor in ‘Pankhuri’.
Lunia first met Shrivastava in 2013 during the fund’s bootcamp and had invested in both her ventures.
Shrivastava started Pankhuri in 2019, raising $3.2 million from Sequoia Capital India’s startup accelerator programme, Surge, as well as India Quotient and Taurus Ventures.
Pankhuri is a platform where women network, learn and shop through live streaming, chat, and cohort-based sessions, enabling them to be active participants in beauty and lifestyle conversations online instead of being passive consumers.
“It’s hard to process that someone so full of life can leave us so early! Shocking! Our sincere condolences to the family! The ecosystem will miss a special person,” GV Ravishankar, a managing director of Sequoia Capital India tweeted on Sunday.
Separately, Shailendra Singh, another managing director at Sequoia Capital India, wrote on Twitter, “Pankhuri had so many ideas, insights, full of enthusiasm and creativity as a founder … we are still trying to process this huge loss. Heart-broke and numb.”
Shrivastava completed her engineering degree in computer science from Rajiv Gandhi Technical University and went on to complete a fellowship at Teach for India, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also did year-long stints at fintech platform ZestMoney and Quikr before founding ‘Pankhuri’.
“Take risks in life to be able to experience something new and different. Increase your risk appetite by stepping outside the norms. Take risks and people will follow!” Shrivastava is believed to have told Kola during a recent interaction, which the Kalaari Capital founder wrote on her LinkedIn page on Sunday.
Source: Business World